A Call to Prayer


Elder Truman Keel (dec)

Philippians 4:6 “Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.”

As we begin a new year, we look forward with anticipation to meeting with the saints at the house of God and have sweet fellowship, sing the songs of Zion and hear the gospel preached. His house is most surely a house of prayer as He says in (Matt. 21:13 “It is written My house shall be called the house of Prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves.” He also says, in (IS. 56:7) (Speaking of the sons of the strangers) “Even them will I bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in My house of prayer.” “For mine house shall be called an house of prayer for all people.” I trust we have established that everything is to be done in prayer and the house of God is his and it shall be called an house of prayer. It seems a reasonable conclusion to say that God has the solution to all the problems His children face, collectively and individually and instructs us to make our request known unto God although He is aware of our needs before we ask. (Read Mat. 6:8) I refer you to (James 5:17-18) for the effectiveness of prayer. (17) “Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months.” (18) “And he prayed again and the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth her fruit.” (I Sam. Ch. 1) Hannah prayed for a child and Samuel was born. (Mat. 26:39-42-44) Jesus prayed three times saying, “if it be as thou wilt.” (II Cor. 12:8-9) Apostle Paul prayed thrice that a thorn in his flesh might depart but the Lord said, “my Grace is sufficient for thee.” I am convinced, the Primitive Baptists are a praying people.

All of the above was said to bring this thought to you.

I have observed for many years the decline of our Churches (there are a few exceptions) with much sadness and I have spent many sleepless nights searching for a solution. I think many share this concern for our precious little Churches that we love so much. I marvel that at this time, the solution seems to have been present with us and I didn’t recognize it.

The farmers in this area have an old adage that says; If you want to know how to raise corn go ask a man that has a crib full. The thought portrayed here is the man with a crib full of corn has been successful in raising corn.

Brethren, I am persuaded that we can learn much by studying the history of the Church. We find some extremely good examples set before us that I think is good for all ages in time. I recently read a little history book of the Kehukee Baptist Association by Elders Lemuel Burkitt and Jesse Read published first in 1803 and again in 1850. The historian states, that the churches were in a weak condition and referred to Mat. 24:12 and declared that iniquity had abounded and the love of many waxed cold and had removed from the church militant to the church triumphant and some had moved to the western countries and some had just went out. This being around the year 1785. The historian declares in some churches there were hardly enough to hold conference, and some other Churches the Lord’s Supper was seldom administered. These Elders are giving you an eye-witness account of the condition of the Churches in a period from about 1785 to 1800. (Page 142 of the history.)  Children of God, listen to these historians and let us learn from them.

What was their solution to this problem? A few lines from page 143. quote (as early as the year 1778 a revival was greatly desired, and a fast was proclaimed to humble ourselves before the Lord, and to solicit the throne of grace for a revival. In 1785, at Shoulders Hill, another fast was proclaimed. The same year, at an association at Kehukee it was agreed to set apart sometime between sunset and dark every day, for all the Churches to unite together in prayer and earnestly pray for a revival. And in 1794, the association agreed to appoint the Saturday before the fourth Sunday in every month, a day for prayer meetings throughout the Churches; whereon all the members of the respective Churches were requested to meet at their meeting houses, or places of worship, and there for each of them, as far as time would admit, to make earnest prayer and supplication to almighty God for a revival of religion.) unquote

If I understand this historian true religion was just about dead in this country. I see nothing wrong with the word revival if the proper thing is revived. Excerpt from page 144. In 1801 Elder Burkitt returned from Tennessee and Kentucky and announced that in eight months six thousand gave account of a work of grace in their hearts and was baptized in Kentucky. This spread throughout the entire area and all services were attended by great numbers and there was a great in gathering for the Churches. The sprit of God seemed to be at all meetings and there was a hunger in the communities for the word of God. These brethren have stated the poor state of the Churches in their time and their solution to it. I am not advocating some particular practice for some Church to follow, but it appears these brethren knew where their help was and we have the same source of help they had.

My summary is this. God, who is their help and our help has not changed. If He granted to them a revival of the spirit of God in their land in that day, will he grant us a revival of the spirit if we do in essence as these brethren did? That is humble ourselves before God and pray for this collectively. The world religion will go on with their rituals and practices without a revival. Brethren, there is not a lot of us left in the world who will sincerely seek the face of God and pray for a revival of the spirit in our land and our Churches. Have we searched our hearts? How much did we plead our cause before the Lord? Are we willing to come before the Lord collectively and individually as a people and petition God for Hs spirit to be manifested among His people.

Brethren, history can teach us a lot. Consider what I have said. It is my desire to do as Peter and stir up your pure mind by way of remembrance. This effort is put forth because of the Love of God and His Bride the Church of God.